Commentary

Tim Quast
Traders Magazine Online News

We're All HFTs Now

In this guest commentary, author Tim Quast looks back at the history of HFT and how the market has evolved to where many firms now fit the definition of high-frequency trader.

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April 30, 1998

Alternative Trading

By John A. Byrne

When the Securities and Exchange Commission announced potential ground-breaking proposals on the regulation of alternative or private trading systems, the reaction was dull.

The proposals, however, should not be overlooked, raising the possibility, for instance, that a major Nasdaq trading firm will establish its own stock exchange.

The SEC proposes to give alternative trading systems more choices on how they are regulated, and to provide brick and mortar stock markets a chance to compete with these ambitious electronic networks.

The proposals, which should come before the agency for final approval by year's end, require screen-based systems to register with the SEC either as stock exchanges or as broker dealers. More requirements would be added if volume rises.

The proposals give Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange an opportunity to developed their own systems unhampered by the SEC for two years, unless their systems exceeded certain trade volumes. The same proposals apply to alternative trading systems that elect to be regulated as exchanges.